The Chronicle has its Top 100 Bay Area restaurants (via stacey), while the NYTimes has A Quick Guide to the Best Restaurants in New York (via kottke, also with reviews). For me all the differences between the two cities lay there exposed. I’ll admit I’m less familiar with the NYC options, but of the handful of places I’ve eaten on the NYTimes list they were across the board atmospheric, appearance driven, et trÃ¨s cher. And I have to question their idea of what “moderately” priced means, as I’ve seen $40 entrees at at least one of their “moderately” priced options.
The Chron on the other hand doesn’t condescend to pre-judge the options for you, beyond inclusion in the list.(granted the Times is presenting a much longer list, which only reinforces my other complaints) There are options which you could only describe as “cheap eats”. There are several phenomenal options for vegetarians, (a concept which really hasn’t penetrated NY’s restaurant establishment yet, probably at least partially due to the lack of decent produce available in the city) and much greater diversity of cuisines.
Its not that SF lacks the frouffy(sp?) options, French Laundry for example is pretentious enough for either coast, its just that the Chron seems to be less enthralled with decor, fame, and cash, and more interested in the food.
Lastly, the Chron figured out that they should link to their own reviews, while the NYTimes needed a helping hand.
In other news, my weekend in New York was lovely thank you, I didn’t leave Sunnyside which is just the way I like it.